Minister Mailis Reps met with Robert Jan Smits, Director-General of DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission to provide an overview of the activities for Estonia's presidency and present Estonia's research sphere.
"For Estonia, EU presidency is a novel task and a great responsibility as well as an excellent opportunity to show its capability and strength," said Minister Mailis Reps. "There are numerous events and meetings ahead, and hosting the ministers of 28 Member States will be challenge on its own."
One of the major events during Estonia's presidency is the unofficial meeting of EU Ministers of Research to be held on 24-25 July next year. The meeting in Tallinn carries weight as it will be the first one where the Ministers of Research can discuss the interim evaluation of the EU research and innovation framework programme Horizon 2020 and the future of the new programme. Another significant research event during presidency is the conference "State-of-the-art science for the community" to be held in October.
Whilst talking about Estonia's research sphere, Minister Reps noted that the excellence of our researchers is evidenced by a number of indicators, especially their success in attracting foreign funding and their publication activities. Estonian researchers have been successful in terms of international projects and the framework programme Horizon 2020 applications. Over the last five years, the number of our high level scientific publications per million population has exceeded the EU average.
The traditional visit to Estonia as the future presidency by Robert-Jan Smits, the Director-General of DG Research and Innovation of the European Commission follows a proposal from the Commission. Smits's agenda will include visits to the Tallinn University of Technology and the Mektory Innovation and Business Centre.